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Is SiriusXM Screwing Up By Potentially Losing The New 'King of All Media' Dave Portnoy?

Is SiriusXM Screwing Up By Potentially Losing The New 'King of All Media' Dave Portnoy?

According to a survey conducted among Benzinga visitors, 58% say Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy is the "more powerful man in media" compared to 42% for pop culture icon Howard Stern.

On Dec. 8, 2020, SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI) renewed its contract with Howard Stern for five additional years. It's expected Stern's pay could be raised to $120 million annually. On the flip side, a two-year deal between Barstool Sports and SiriusXM ends around Jan. 19, Portnoy said earlier this week.

“I think pretty much done," Portnoy said in reference to not renewing with SiriusXM. "I'll let Erika [Nardini] be the ultimate confirmation."

Dave Portnoy Vs. Howard Stern

Dave Portnoy is the founder and president of Barstool Sports, one of the most popular sports websites and media brands in the world.

Portnoy had some eye-popping moments in 2020, including an interview with U.S. President Donald Trump. He's also been building the empire that is Barstool Sports even further thanks to the fast-growing legal sports betting market; Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ: PENN) bought a significant stake in Barstool in early 2020.

Portnoy has also demonstrated himself to be a highly successful entrepreneur and social media icon that attracted millions of people to follow his venture into day trading.

Howard Stern has been the host of his self-titled show for over three decades, which has been available exclusively on SiriusXM since 2005. He referred to himself as the "king of all media" in the early 1990s.

Two of Stern's books released in 1993 and 1995, respectively, entered The New York Times Best Seller list at number one. He released his third book in 2019.

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Stern broadcasts three days a week while Portnoy doesn't seem to stop. Could SiriusXM face a wave of cancelations as a consequence of not renewing Barstool?

SiriusXM listeners will be losing out on many popular Barstool Sports programs including "The Dave Portnoy Show," "The Yak with Big Cat," "The Barstool Breakfast" and "Call Her Daddy." Listeners will also no longer have access to the Cousin Michael broadcast, hosted by Portnoy's father, Michael.

So, who is the real "king of all media" in 2021? We analyzed a few search rankings and aggregated social media followings:

  • In terms of aggregated YouTube reach, Barstool's network of YouTube channels has a combined 2.82 million subscribers, nearly doubling Stern's YouTube channel, which has 1.14 million.
  • Portnoy has a larger Twitter following than Stern, as Portnoy's 1.9 million beats Stern's 1.6 million.
  • Barstool Sports also leads Stern's Facebook followers by a count of 3.9 million to 1.1 million.
  • Total search volume for Barstool is 450,000 on Google, handily beating Howard Stern's search volume of 310,000.*

Time will tell if SiriusXM is making a big mistake.

This study was conducted by Benzinga in January and included the responses of a diverse population of adults 18 or older completely voluntarily. The study reflects the results from over 3,000 adults.

*This figure refers to the number of times "Barstool" was searched versus "Howard Stern" over the period of Dec. 1, 2019 to Nov. 30, 2020.

Photo credit: Zach Catanzareti, Flickr


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